Assia Ivantcheva

Senior Director, Europe

Assia Ivantcheva is the senior director for the Europe program at the National Endowment for Democracy. She brings 20 years of experience working in democracy and human rights around the world, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Prior to joining NED, Assia was a foreign service officer with USAID, leading teams during turbulent political transitions and crises, including in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Serbia, and Montenegro. In her previous role as the senior adviser with the Elections and Political Transitions Division at USAID, she worked on political transitions in a variety of contexts, from Kenya to Zimbabwe, and from Burma to Sri Lanka. 

Assia has also served as the deputy head of the Human Rights Department at the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, where she was responsible for policy and programs across 57 participating states. In that role, she also led the OSCE human rights defender network. 

A frequent writer and speaker, Assia has authored numerous articles and training manuals on human rights, media, elections and political processes. She has briefed Congress, the State Department, National Security Council, and governments, in addition to providing lectures at Princeton, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities. 

She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the School of International Service at American University, an M.A. in Arabic Studies from Sofia University, and a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She speaks Russian and other Slavic languages.